For Valentine's Day, we decided to try Art and Soul in DC. I have seen chef/owner Art Smith several times on TV and he seems like such a fun, sweet person. The restaurant is in the lobby of a hotel and is very modern and trendy with touches of Southern homeyness (like jars of pickled things). The restrooms are way on the other side of the lobby, though, which is kind of irritating.
We began with cocktails - Jasper had the "roll call" (ultimate vodka, pomegranate port reduction, blackberries, champagne), I had the "taft and chinda" (st. germaine, sour cherry, champagne). Then came the fantastic corn bread muffins. The menu started with an Amuse Bouche of duck rillette, foie gras, and truffle in a little empanada. Jasper chose the arugula salad with strawberries, cocoa dusted pine nuts and champagne vinaigrette to start with. I had the creamy parsnip soup with pumpkin seed oil and cranberry conserve. For the next course, Jasper had seared rare tuna with a spicy crust and beef tartare, served with winter radishes, micro celery, and a bresoala chip. I had a very creamy lobster risotto with chunks of lobster, caviar cream, crispy leeks, and tarragon oil. For the entree, Jasper had a grilled filet of beef and braised short rib with warm potato salad and port reduction. I had confit chicken with goat cheese polenta, garlic greens, and lemon-pomegranate jus. For desert, Jasper had a chocolate duet of dark chocolate malt, warm white chocolate cake, and raspberry. I had a fig tart with coriander cream and a vanilla port reduction.
Everything was good but not great. My favorite was probably the free cornbread muffins. I wouldn't make the trip out that far except for the bar - the drinks were very good.